A celebration of our city
The annual Draper Days Parade attracts thousand of spectators as it winds its way along historic Fort Street in the center of the city. There are marching bands, floats, antique cars, dancers, singers and much more; a copious menagerie of quirkiness and hometown flair that celebrates Draper and the people that make this community a fantastic place to live.
The parade is a decades old tradition, but in the past five years it has experienced incredible growth, due in large part to parade director Debbie Ballard. She starts working on it in January as a labor of love, culling down entrants to include a wide variety of interests and textures. The parade has almost doubled in size since she took the helm. Last year, there were 60 entries that didn’t even get in.
“The citizens of Draper love the charming Draper Days parade. I have enjoyed every minute of it and getting to know people and the community partners. It has been all worth it, even though it is lots of work and time,” says Ballard.
There is a small budget for the parade, with most of the money used to pay for the marching bands that participate. Corner Canyon High School is a huge supporter of the parade and has always entered many different organizations. Ballard hopes to get Alta High School back to the parade as well and has made a concerted effort to reach out to them.
The Draper Police Department is an integral part of the days festivities and its enormous success. They always lead the procession on motorbikes, swerving up and down the streets in their sharp, crisp uniforms, carrying the American flag. Every year, Officer Chad Carpenter helps Ballard on Friday night mark the street and get the staging area ready for a morning of fun and pageantry and Ballard always enlists the help of family to get things running smoothly on parade day.
The parade loves volunteers. If you would like to help stage the parade, or be a parade announcer, please contact Debbie Ballard at 801-856-7374.